I have had so much trouble working the past few days. I would be sitting here working when all of a sudden my wife Karen would hoot out loud or fall into paroxysms of laughter. Somehow she accidently came across an obscure forum on Amazon for the Textbook Buyback community. (Who knew?).
It all started with a forum post where the poster asked the question “Is it OK to sell a text book that was used to bludgeon loud library patrons over the head to get them to shut up?” This seemingly innocent question started a series of posts and replies that went into the hundreds and became hugely humorous. The forum went viral and well beyond the textbook buyback community. Posters were making up humorous mystery stories about people being bludgeoned by textbooks. Others were reviewing textbooks to determine which one would make the best bludgeoning tool.
People all over the country were following the posts and literally rolling on the floor laughing until this morning when the entire series of posts and replies were deleted. My wife did have a few from here email file where Amazon emails posts to you.
Here is a small sample:
Martin S. — I glared at the geek sitting across from me on the bus.
“You think you’re better than the rest of us?” I challenged him.
He looked up at me, startled. “What?”
I pointed at his iPad. “You think you’re better than the rest of us?” I repeated. Other passengers on the bus caught the spirit and began staring down the coward.
“Look, I don’t want any trouble,” he said.
“You already bought your way into trouble,” I jeered. I looked around the bus and asked in a loud voice, “Anyone else here think they’re being treated like bull’s pizzle by this Apple wonk baring his wares right in our face?” You could feel the heat in the bus go up a few degrees. I’d stirred the pot, but good.
The geek tried to put his iPad away, but I wasn’t done with him.
“Why are you riding buses?” I demanded. “You’ve got an iPad. Shouldn’t you be in a Maserati, or have a chauffeur? Why’re you brandishing that thing in this death-by-diesel bus?”
The other passengers could smell blood. This was too easy. I pulled out a textbook.
The geek’s eyes widened when he saw the textbook: he knew he was being shaken down for his iPad, and there was nothing he could do about it. I laid it out for him.
“You want to get out of here in one piece? Why don’t we remove the occasion of the problem?”
“You mean, give you my iPad?”
“I’ve got a better idea,” the geek replied. He flipped the iPad through the air to his left, and it was snatched up in mid-flight by this huge lug of a man I hadn’t noticed earlier.
“The iPad’s yours!” the geek cried out to Man Mountain Mike’s clone, “but this guy” he pointed at me “said you’re a drooling idiot!”
When I woke up in the hospital several days later, I asked the nurse what happened.
“You were in for a textbookectomy,” she said.
“Where’d they remove it from?”
“Where DIDN’T they remove it from,” she corrected. “I guess your attacker got carried away, though. We did an iPadectomy on you as well.”
“Then I was right,” I gloated with satisfaction. “That guy WAS a drooling idiot.”
A shadow crossed my countenance as a huge orderly walked past my bed. As the nurse departed, the orderly turned toward me: it was that huge guy from the bus, now wearing hospital scrubs. His security tag said “Lenny,” with no last name.
“Lights out,” he whispered as he approached, gripping a Physician’s Desktop Reference in one beefy hand.
Moral of the story: iPads are so cool!
Amanda W — The driver looked in the back seat. The duffle bag was unzipped. She quickly pulled the sides together covering the hard bound edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works and the sawed off OED.
“Stay quiet back there. There’s a police check point ahead,” she said to the passenger in the back of the SUV.
It was a hot summer night, the driver was sure the WriterGal was hot under that blanket, but what could be done. She had to get out of the city before Martin Selbrede’s people caught up with her. That incident in the back of the restaurant had to be cleaned up and quickly.
The driver thumbed the small hardbacks in the map pocket. She hoped she didn’t have to use them, but she was prepared nonetheless.
The driver inched the car forward again. One car in front of her now. She was glad the windows were tinted, but she was starting to rethink that. The level was just past legal and she really didn’t want any problems. She touched the books again, reassuring herself that all would be fine.
Now it was her turn. She pulled up to the officer and rolled down the window.
“Have you been drinking this evening?” the officer asked routinely, though that flashlight was really bright.
“No, Officer. Just headed to a friend’s home,” the driver said.
“License and registration, please.”
The driver reached into the glove box, cursing when she saw the copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tale Tell Heart. She grabbed the registration quickly and closed the box hoping he didn’t see. Then grabbed her license from her purse.
As the driver handed everything to the officer, she noticed the flashlight was now pointed at the glove box. She grabbed The Blue Day Book from the map pocket and threw it. She missed purposefully, distracting him. He had gone for his copy of Fahrenheit 451 Collector’s Edition. She punched the gas. The police weren’t able to get into their cars quickly enough without hurting someone else. She dodged the lumber truck crossing the road just in front of her, slammed on the brakes, and opened the passenger side door. The truck finished completely blocking the road. Jennifer threw the keys into the woods, jumped into the SUV, and they were gone.
WriterGal would be safe for another night.
WriterG. Amanda Thanks! Does that make us (or rather you and Jennifer) like Thelma and Louise? If so, perhaps you should have driven that car off a cliff.
I love being the villain. I feel like Butch Cassidy! But instead of running out with guns blazing, I’m rolling out of a vehicle (hopefully with at least a couple of Signet Classics strapped to my belt).
WriterG. <Grumbling> I’ve got some old Houghton-Mifflin Literature Works Teacher’s Guides (parts 1 and 2) with that barista’s name on it and two hands itching to help them make their acquaintance. And Martin, if ya know what’s good for ya, you’ll quit askin’ questions or you’ll get the same. Ya get me?
Martin S. Groggy. Can’t open my eyes. What hit me? I could hear the beep of EKG machines and doctors ordering nurses around. My tongue was stuck in my throat, feeling like a big dry Biscotti that hadn’t been properly chewed.
“What happened?” I asked weakly.
“You ask too many questions,” a stern male voice said. “Shut up. We’re trying to stitch you back together. 40 ccs of Kahlua, stat.”
“Was it WriterGal?” I asked.
“I told you to shut up.”
“Where am I?” I tried to force one mucus-glued eye back open.
“Special Municipal Trauma Unit VOWG3,” a concerned female nurse said, bending over me, talking through her mask.
“Victims Of WriterGal Three,” she explained. “It’s a massacre out there. We’ve set up medical depots around the city. You were lucky you were within a half-mile of this place or you wouldn’t have made it.”
“He’s finally stable,” the presiding doctor announced. “Let’s move on. Dump those pieces of Houghton-Mifflin textbooks we extracted outta him, they sicken me.” The room became quiet. But I still heard breathing — and it wasn’t mine. I turned my head painfully to the side to look.
There was that huge orderly from last week, from that iPad incident on the bus, coming toward me.
I blacked out before he reached me.
Martin S. — “What do you mean, you can’t take that SUV out?!” I shouted over the tracer fire. “You’ve got 48mm antitank artillery out on the line!”
“Tried that,” Sergeant Koller yelled back. “The inside of that SUV is lined with textbooks. The shells bounce right off ’em. Nothing can stop WriterGal’s Happy Bookmobile.”
The sky was an angry red, filled with smoke from a city aflame. Every time the SUV broke clear of a roadblock, a tanker trailer would jack-knife in its wake, blocking the road while going up in a scorching ball of fire.
“Sergeant,” I shouted, “what about that Chinese proverb: kill the chicken to scare the monkey!”
“I’ll try anything!” he yelled back. He quickly assembled a ten-man detail and barked out his orders.
“We need you men to go out and find a chicken. Don’t come back here without one. Move it!” The soldiers hurtled out of there in Jeeps on steroids.
The sergeant turned toward me.
“Okay, what was that second instruction? Scare the monkey?”
I shook my head. No wonder WriterGal had brought the city to its knees.
“While you’re at it, why don’t you rub bulkhead softener on the shells so they’ll penetrate the textbooks?” I asked sarcastically.
He sent another dozen men scrambling to find bulkhead softener.
Bruce M. — I lay awake angry and in pain in the recovery room after having my grandpa Groucho’s shnoz rearranged into a less noticeable form, my upper lip still stinging from the laser hair removal.I was waiting for nurse Amber to bring me some Morphine. I grinned wickedly thinking about how I wouldn’t get caught as I watched my old face splashed across the news report looking for the fugitives known as Groucho and Blankethead. I hope WriterGal got away after clobbering Martin. Man was her aim good! Thankfully the laser eye surgery worked and I wasn’t seeing two of everything. Just then my old friend Lenny wheeled another patient into the recovery room. I stared for a minute ,trying to focus on the face. Wait…it couldn’t be! It is!
As I stared at Martin’s unconscious form, my mind began to race. What if he wakes up and recognizes me? Just then I noticed a shelf with a large copy of an OSHA guide on the shelf. I had a score to settle with Martin and I needed to buy myself time to get discharged and escape before being found out….
WriterG. — As I sank behind the Starbucks, I heaved a ragged breath and slowly pulled off my gloves. Even with the thin gloves, my knuckles were still a mass of angry bruises. That Martin would have a skull like a cement block. But he had it coming to him. I warned him, didn’t I?
I glanced at the few pages left of Literature Works. Still smoking, their edges a dull red like the sunset warning of a coming storm.
I checked my backpack. Only one chem textbook left. I needed to reload. I needed to get to my arsenal of the far north side. But there were at least 300 cops between me and my armory.
I sighed, wondering if Jennifer was all right. I needed to find her and fast. I checked the alley. Only a wino lay by an overturned garbage can, a Venti cup in hand. The coast was clear.
Martin S. — The news spread fast. The Marines had captured the SUV, and I needed to be there when they peeled it open. I broke every traffic law in the book, even using my cell phone in a school zone, to get to the scene of the capture.
I hopped out of the jeep in time to see the Marines cracking open the door. They backed away, confused. I looked inside the SUV.
It was empty. Just a blanket in the backseat.
“Who was driving this thing?” the Marine next to me asked. And without warning, a monkey flew out of the SUV and bounded out over the heads of the Marines, hightailing it for the nearest building.
Sergeant Koller walked up behind me and clapped his hands together. “Okay, we scared the monkey. Should we skip the chicken?”
I shook my heads, wondering where those two fugitives had slipped away to. By now they’d had plenty of time for plastic surgery, tanning booths, tattoo parlors, piercings, hair extensions, bunion cream, and God knows what. I reached into my pocket to pull out the bad check WriterGal had written me.
“It’s not over yet,” I whispered in determination, staring at the scrawled “X” on the signature line. “It’s ‘homo indomitus’ time.”
I contacted Amazon for a comment but they didn’ t respond. I suspect some lawyer read these at Amazon and became worried over liability is someone was suddenly bludgeoned to death by a text book and they could be sued.